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Homa Bay Kuppet election cancelled due to violence

By James Omoro | January 24th 2021

Ballot boxes arranged for Kuppet officials’ elections at GEB Girls Secondary School in Kosele town, Homa Bay County on January 24, 2021. The elections were cancelled due to violence. [James Omoro, Standard]

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) officials’ elections in Homa Bay County have been cancelled due to violence.

The election slated for January 24 at GEB Girls Secondary School in Kosele town aborted after rigging claims marred the exercise.

Tension started at about 1 pm when a group allied to Samuel Owee accused Team Focus headed by the incumbent Executive Secretary Stephen Yogo and vice-chairman Jack Okoth of trying to rig the election.

The group maintained that the election could not proceed unless their fears of planned rigging were addressed.

A heated argument broke out between rival factions forcing the police to come in and disperse the rowdy teachers.

Rigging claims

Teachers allied to aspiring chairman Victor Kibwana accused Okoth’s camp of stuffing ballots after sensing defeat.

Speaking to Standard Digital over the phone, JB Owino, a candidate who was blocked from running in an unclear circumstance, said Okoth was caught rigging after sensing defeat.

"Even after blocking my candidature, Okoth resorted to rigging after realising he was headed for a resounding defeat,” claimed Owino.

Kuppet National Organising Secretary Paul Maingi who was overseeing the polls said they decided to cancel the election after the teachers became unruly.

 “There were cases of irregularities and the teachers were so unruly that we could not control them,” Maingi said.

He said they are going to deliberate on the matter with the Kuppet national office on when to hold another election.

“We will call all the contestants to the head office so that we schedule a date for another election,” Maingi said.

Efforts of the election officials to calm them down proved futile.

The election has attracted two line-ups of teachers eyeing various elective positions. They are Team Focus headed by Yogo who is defending his seat and Team Petition for Change led by Owee who is eyeing the executive secretary position.

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